Our Town Our Art - High Street Gallery
Haverhill Town Council (HTC) embarked on this project as part of its aim to make our town a nicer and more pleasant place to live in, work and visit. Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic has hit businesses in Haverhill town centre like many in the UK, the sight of forlorn empty shop units can create a ‘glass half empty’ feeling, when in reality, they make up a very small proportion of what we have to offer in our town. Whilst HTC may have no control over what rent landlords charge or the nationally-set business rates, we resolved to do what we can within our remit. Our out-door art exhibition not only covers up empty shop units, it brings a bit of brightness back and sends a signal to existing and prospective businesses that whilst High Streets are evolving, commerce still has an important role in Haverhill Town centre.
We received a tremendous response to our call-out to local artists to send in their art work, which shows that a lot of people care too. We collaborated with a local design company, Haverhill Stylize Graphics, to produce large vinyls full of fantastic artwork. Almost 70 individual artists’ works were chosen, from both professionals and amateurs, demonstrating a wide variety of artforms from painting to photography and carpentry to quilting. Contributors range from aged 8 to 90! Thank you to each and every one of you.
Mayor John Burns said ‘Thank you to all our generous artists for allowing their work to be used free of charge. They are testament to the creativity and community spirit of our town. The town council and all those involved hope our High Street Gallery will brighten your day that and provide a little light relief in these difficult times.’
Sara Marsh, Haverhill Art Centre’s Customer Experience Manager led this project and added her own thanks to all those who took part, “Whilst we couldn’t find room for all the contributions – we got far more than we anticipated – we are on stand-by to replace vinyls if necessary, so having a reserve stock is really useful. One of the challenges of this project is that the shop windows we started with are not the ones we end up with – there is still turnover of shop units and some of our vinyls will come down, whilst unfortunately other opportunities will come up. Now we are up and running we can respond faster to change. We really do thank the landlords for allowing us to do this work.”
Join the Facebook Artistic License, Haverhill to connect with local artists and crafters.